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  • image SM 13/1/7

Reference number

SM 13/1/7


[7] Competition design No.7 with motto 'To your decree I bend'


Section on the Line A.B. and Elevation next Old Street


bar scale 1/14 in to 1 ft


as above. No7 (competition number added). To your decree I bend (competition motto)

Signed and dated

  • datable to before 31 May 1777

Medium and dimensions

Pen and warm sepia, cream, green and (section) pink washes


Robert Baldwin (fl.1762-c.1804)/ and a few inscriptions possibly by George Dance (1741-1825), see Notes below


J Whatman


Robert Baldwin's hand can be seen in the titles while the rendering of the elevation and section and the fine pen lines of, for example, the roof, railing and rustication reflect Baldwin's distinctive palette and drawing style. George Dance may have written a few of the labels, those with 'printed' lettering (plain, forward sloping and not joined up) are like those of some of his own drawings (cf. SM D2/9/9). On the other hand, Baldwin sometimes used the same sort of simple lettering (cf. SM volume 9/7). In fact, it is quite usual to have several people working on competition drawings and the plans may have been drawn by Soane, Baldwin or indeed, Dance.

The plan is a stretched ellipse. A plan form that later appears in the preliminary studies by George Dance for a British Senate House that was adopted by Soane for the final design exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1779. See (Soane's architectural education ...): Preliminary designs, some by George Dance, final design exhibited at the Royal Academy, reduced copies, and perspectives by J.M.Gandy and George Bailey, for a British Senate House 1778-9 and later (16)

The elevation is plainer than the earlier design and has the lunette windows within two-storey blind arches found in Dance's executed scheme. See J.Lever, Catalogue of the drawings of George Dance the Younger ..., 2003, catalogue [34]


P.du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982. Chapter 3 (Architecture for madness: the St Luke's competition)



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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